Information on How to Get Ordained and Register as a Minister
How to get ordained and perform a wedding or ceremony in Texas.
Since 2010, Open Ministry has been ordaining and helping people all over the world perform weddings, ceremony and other sacerdotal duties. This page focuses on requirements and information for Texas, if you don't need the States Statues or ordination information for Texas scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other states.
Let's get started with the information for Texas
If you are planning to get ordained in Texas or you have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Texas, or simply need to to find a minister in Texas to perform your wedding ceremony the information on this page will assist you. If you still have questions we invite you to visit our FAQ or contact us for more detailed information. We are here to help and support our ministers and congregation.
Registered Ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of marriages in Texas and around the world!
The Ordination and Officiant information is provided below in an easy five step layout which is designed help walk you through the most common steps on registering to become a minister for Texas and how perform a wedding ceremony in Texas.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to get Ordained in Texas and become a minister to perform weddings and marriage ceremonies in Texas
Ordinations for Texas are completely free and can normally be completed in less than a day. Thousands of people have registered and became licensed ministers in Texas. Once you have completed the ordination process you are able perform marriages through Open Ministry in and for the state of Texas!
Become Ordained for free and start your journey as an authorized minister in Texas with Open Ministry.
Get started today by clicking on the link below!
Step 2 - Contact The County Clerk
How to Register to Officiate a Marriage in Texas
Next, contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk in Texas). Let them know that you are a ordained minister with Open Ministry in California, and ask them what information the will require of you, to officiate a marriage in Texas. Most clerks and governing agencies may require that you present them with a physical copy of your ordination record.
When speaking with the county clerk; it can be helpful to use the following phrases.
- What agency or department issues marriage licenses in your county and how may I contact them?
- I am an ordained minister with a church in California and I would like to register as a wedding Officiant in your county to perform and solemnize weddings.
- I have my Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Credential as proof of my ministry and ordination.
- What additional documentation is required for me to register as a wedding Officiant in your county or state?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in Texas
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you will want to visit our bookstore to get physical copies official credentials for presentation and your records. (See Texas State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Texas you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerk's before they will accept the marriage license as having been legally solemnized. We typically advise ministers of Texas to get a Complete Minister Package for Texas which includes your Letter of Good Standing (the live signed and notarized physical copy of your standing with our ministry).
Having your physical copies credentials provides peace-of-mind to couples and others that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials and are able to register in time. Please note that every state and county can impose different requirements. This may include other nominal fees and additional paperwork that may need to be completed before the ceremony can take place.
It is important to note that some county clerks in Texas may require wedding officiants to attach a statement which asserts some of the elements in the marriage license upon submission, including the following:
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, that Texas State may request you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend". The County Clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use "Non-Denominational". Failing to state a denomination may result in rejection and could require a duplicate marriage license.
Step 4 - How to Perform the Wedding
How to perform a wedding in Texas
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Texas state issued marriage license from the appropriate office. Texas marriage licenses valid for a set number of days, and there may be a waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Texas and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Texas. This information should be written on the license and followed to ensure the ceremony is recorded properly.
Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office in Texas before the time limit is reached. Check the marriage license for the exact dates. Once the the previous matters have been addressed, officiating a wedding in Texas can be a great and wonderful experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Texas, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Texas. We recommend that all new Texas wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
2.202 PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT CEREMONY
(a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
(1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
(2) a Jewish rabbi;
(3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony; and
(4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.
(b) For the purposes of this section, a retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any type listed in Subsection (a)(4).
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or of a person who by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.
FAMILY CODE - TITLE 1. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP - SUBTITLE A. MARRIAGE - CHAPTER 2. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP - SUBCHAPTER C. CEREMONY AND RETURN OF LICENSE
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268, Sec. 4.10, eff. September 1, 2005. Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 134, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.